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Beware the Powerful Lobby
Israel - Middle East
Friday, July 05, 2013
Alf Cengia

According to the spiel: ''[Peter] Osborne examines how the lobby operates from within parliament and the tactics it employs behind the scenes when engaging with print and broadcast media.''

I clicked on the video and watched the first few minutes of the examination. Almost immediately my eyes began to glaze over. It wasn't necessary to view the full forty minutes to predict where the thing was heading. It began with the obligatory conspiratorial mood-setting soundtrack, accompanied by the ominous warning tone of the narrator:

"British policy is influenced by supporters of a foreign power...."

Of course that "foreign power" is Israel and the so-called powerful entity which, allegedly, no one can touch is the "British pro-Israel lobby".

The documentary briefly moves into some bloody scenes of Israel's last incursion into Gaza, then it deftly segues onto a swank dinner table and a plate filled with fine cuisine food. We are then informed by the narrator that:

"...a few months later, the Conservative Friends of Israel held its annual lunch for conservative politicians and business men..."

In other words, the evil lobby was feasting following the slaughter of the innocents.

In what some will sadly believe is the epitome of investigative journalism, Osborne quickly informs his captive audience that British politician David Cameron was star speaker at the luncheon. Yet, horror of horrors, he failed to raise the issue of the wide-spread killing of innocent civilians and massive destruction in Gaza.

Years ago, I learned that many documentaries produced by our trusted journalists do not necessarily reflect objective reality. What some of these "docos" do is prepackage an idea - often charged with emotions - which is then sold to a gullible market as some sort of light entertainment.

Give the audience what it wants and sell advertising space. Rule number one in the journo's workbook - never let the facts get in the way of catchy sound bites.

A classic example was when a friend had his house ransacked while he and his wife were out. It turned out that the thieves hit several other houses in the same street that same night. It must have been a quiet period for the Australian Sixty Minutes Crew because they contacted the victims, including my friend. They had more time on their hands than the police because they spent a whole day interviewing each of the victims.

Yet when the program aired, Sixty Minutes barely used an edited 30 seconds of my friend's interview. And what began as a simple one-off burglary on a normally quiet neighborhood, somehow morphed into a fictional account concerning a dangerous suburb that one should think twice about ever moving to.

The reality was that the suburb was safer than many other Melburnian areas. Had I the money to buy a house in that area, I would have jumped at the chance.

Likewise, the facts leading to the Gaza incursion are forgotten and lost in the revisionism of the documentary's polished propaganda. Sound-bite-loving viewers who are normally attracted to this type of documentary won't want to accept that Hamas deliberately instigated the incursion.

Hamas strategically placed artillery among its civilians so that they would be harmed and killed by Israeli fire, thus portraying the Palestinians as victims. And it worked, despite Netanyahu noting that:

"...the terrorists were firing missiles from homes and schools, using mosques as weapons depots and ferreting explosives in ambulances. Israel, by contrast, tried to minimize casualties by urging Palestinian civilians to vacate the targeted areas. We dropped countless flyers over their homes, sent thousands of text messages and called thousands of cell phones asking people to leave."

One reason a pro-Israel lobby even exists is because of the vast networking of the anti-Israel lobbyists.

Alice Walker, the author of the book "The Color Purple", devotes 80 pages of her new book on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. She compares the "Jewish State" to Nazi Germany; calls it an Apartheid State that needs to be boycotted and suggests that it should cease to exist. She also actively encourages artists and celebrities to boycott Israel, and to some extent she has succeeded.

Yet by any definition, Israel is anything but an apartheid state, as The Jewish Press capably points out. I would especially recommend watching Dennis Prager's video at the conclusion of Avraham's article.

An alien from another galaxy, reading and viewing this anti-Israel propaganda, might be excused in thinking that Israel is the standout oppressive nation in that region. I suspect the alien might cast a puzzled glance at the current Egyptian and Syrian disasters and wonder...

Given the fervor of the anti-Israel lobbyists, where is all the condemnation for the oppression of non-Muslims in the countries surrounding Israel? Why do Syrian rebels regularly decapitate Christians, and broadcast graphic videos of these atrocities, and yet they remain silent? Where were they when President Morsi announced Sharia Law across Egypt, and Egyptian Copts came under persecution? Where is the condemnation of the Muslim Brotherhood's treatment of Christians?

Western observers who make it a point of attacking Israel and promoting the boycotting of its products will strenuously deny that they're anti-Semites.

But the term Jewish State sticks in their throats. They don't mind an Italian country being called Italy, a Greek one being called Greece, or a French state referred to as France.

The problem is what the word Jewish embodies. It's the particular ethnicity that offends these people. These same people unfairly portray Israel as oppressive, yet they ignore what occurs in its neighboring states.

Why attack the only stable truly democratic nation in the region?

If this isn't anti-Semitism, then what would be a better example?

About Alf Cengia

Last week: On Honor, Hope & Joy

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